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Human will vs. God's will

Uploaded by punkonator on Nov 25, 2002

The human will and the will of God are two prevalent themes within Zora Neale Hurston’s American masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Not only do both themes play integral parts in the tone and continuity of the novel, but they also play into every other major theme of the book. These other themes being: self-discovery, love, independence, and nature’s power in one’s life. Both Janie’s personal will, and the will of God in this story are used to show the strengths and weakness of Janie as well the rest of the characters. The will of God is seen numerous times throughout the novel in order to test Janie and her will. God’s will is also seen directing other major and minor characters in the book. The wills of God and Janie are the guiding forces within the story and skirmish with each other throughout to create the backbone of this novel.

For Janie, there is a great conflict of wills her own and the will of God. On one side of her reasoning she feels the need to experience true love but on the other side, is God pulling the strings in her life. Her Nanny will have nothing to do with the later and thus pushes Janie in the direction of marriage, even if that means there is no love. Janie wants love but is still unsure in her young womanhood if all it takes to it is a simple marriage to a man who will take care of her. This can be seen when Janie asks herself, “Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated. Did marriage compel love like the sun the day?” She soon finds out that she should have listened to her instinct once she finds that being taken of isn’t that same as true love. Marriage is not what Janie wants. She wants love. Her desire to get out of the marriage is clearly seen in all the references to animals. She feels like a mule while she’s with Logan. She knows she has the spirit of a stallion inside her but she is literally surrounded by a gate and can only stare towards her impossible dreams of love down the road (25-27). Logan puts a tremendous amount of stress on Janie with his demands as well as his verbal and physical abuse seen often while she is his wife. In this time...

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Uploaded by:   punkonator

Date:   11/25/2002

Category:   Their Eyes Were Watching God

Length:   7 pages (1,495 words)

Views:   2753

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